The act of losing is called jobbing and a frequent loser is referred to as a jobber. It is a mark of disrespect to refer to a wrestler as a jobber, as it implies they are a failure in their career. The term has entered into popular culture, to mean a loser or someone who is worthless, as well as jabroni, a phrase that was popularized by The Rock.
Alternate terms included:
- journeyman (because of jobbers being hired for individual matches and not having contracts with the major promotions)
- enhancement talent (due to their usage to enhance the stature of their opponent) and *ham-n-egger (supposedly coined by Bobby Heenan, a phrase also used in boxing circles for unskilled fighters in reference to the amount of money they make buys them just enough for a ham and eggs breakfast). Ham & Egger also refers to the crowd, as Heenan would refer to them when they would start chanting "Weasel".
- preliminary wrestler, a term often used by print wrestling magazines.
Despite the negative sense of the word, some wrestlers have made a career out of jobbing. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi (better known as the "Brooklyn Brawler") made a career out of jobbing, primarily in the World Wrestling Entertainment, although Horowitz and Lombardi both had upset wins over Skip and Triple H, respectively.
A slightly higher position is jobber to the stars, which is a wrestler who still defeats pure jobbers but who consistently loses to top-level or up-and-coming stars. This often happens to popular faces towards the end of their careers, including Tony Garea, Tito Santana, and, more recently, Val Venis, Funaki, and Nunzio. Triple H was given this role in the summer of 1996 by Vince McMahon as punishment for the infamous MSG Incident.
Many top names in wrestling began their careers as jobbers. Mick Foley and Bret Hart began their careers as jobbers in the 1980s, later going on to greater success in the 1990s after employers began to recognize their talent. Peter Polaco and Terry Gerin were jobbers who later became stars in ECW as Justin Credible and Rhino, respectively.
WWE (then the World Wrestling Federation) made greatest use of full-time jobbers during their syndicated television shows in the 1980s and early 1990s, WWF Superstars of Wrestling and WWF Wrestling Challenge. In addition to Horowitz and Lombardi, other jobbers of this period included "Leaping" Lanny Poffo, Brady Boone, Scott Casey, the Conquistadors, Iron Mike Sharpe, S.D. Jones, Dale Wolfe, George South, Brian Costello, and Jerry Allen.
Some jobbers had gimmicks similar to the superstar performers they routinely lost to. For example, Poffo carried Frisbees to the ring, which he threw into the stands just before he read poetry. Horowitz wore green tights and patted his own back.
In the early '90s, the WWF elevated Lombardi and Poffo into high-profile programs. Poffo was rebranded "the Genius," and later stepped down from wrestling to manage "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig. Lombardi became the "Brooklyn Brawler" and engaged in a feud with Terry Taylor, a/k/a the "Red Rooster."
By the mid-1990s, the WWF removed nearly all matches involving jobbers. This happened for two main reasons: it was starting to pit superstars against each other on a regular basis on Monday Night RAW, and they had also converted Superstars and Challenge into recap shows. (In 1995, Challenge was cancelled outright and Superstars was moved to a Sunday afternoon slot on cable television.)
A jobber may not necessarily lose, only make the superstar look powerful or at least another superstar interfering with the match to be powerful. An example includes a jobber, Jimmy Jacobs, wrestling Eddie Guerrero during his last heel run and feud with Rey Mysterio, who actually won by DQ when Guerrero beat him with a chair.
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